Oh my!!! I am gobsmacked by all the twists in the novel. The first one comes from Emily’s part. The police arrive early one morning to collect and take James and Emily to the police station for questioning as there are some inaccuracies about the night in which Daisy went missing.
At the police station Emily is left in an interview room for hours, and when DCI Jacobs finally comes to question her, she gets straight to the point. We learn then that Emily only got back home just ten minutes before James even though she had left earlier. When Jacobs asks her, Emily says that she was waylaid, talking to some of the guests. Jacobs doesn’t buy her lies, and she blurts out what she now knows. Emily got home only ten minutes before James because she had been having sex with Marcus on the beach. Emily starts crying, and she has to admit that it is true.
When Emily is driven back home, she sees Marcus leaving her house, and she is sure that the man has spilt the beans. We learn that Marcus has felt forced to confess the truth, feeling guilty that what had happened between him and Emily had could have eased things for Daisy’s captor. I really didn’t expect this at all, and I was shocked. I don’t like Emily very much, but at the same time I feel sorry for her because she is losing the people who she has cared for at some point because of the way she is to them.
James is at the front door when Emily gets there, and he only mentions a word “Marcus?” to her. Yet, Emily is unable to say anything else when they hear tyres screech to a halt and DCI Jacobs comes out of the car. The police officer comes to them and directs her comment to James. Apparently, James hasn’t been truthful about his late wife and he has a lot of explaining to do.
The second part of the book starts with the same text we read in the prologue, and we then realise that the narrator here is not Jess as I thought, but Avril. The baby she mentions is Chloe, and the people who leave for the party is James and his mother, who is staying with them to help with baby Chloe. The addition in this chapter is that Avril has stopped taking medication, and we can gather that the woman is not right in the head The end of the chapter is Avril hugging her daughter and blood seeping her front.
When DCI questions James, he finally tells the truth. He is not really a widower; Avril is alive, and we learn that Avril has always had mental problems, which he didn’t know when they got married. The medication controlled her paranoia, but when she got pregnant, she had to tell James and wean herself off the pills. James admits that it was a difficult time as Avril changed completely and turned into a woman he didn’t know. When Chloe was born, Avril adored her baby, but she still refused to take the pills as she wanted to breastfeed her baby. Then one night when he and his mother were out at a party, they returned to find Chloe covered in blood as Avril had slashed her wrists. That is why she was sectioned.
Recently James got a letter from Avril, telling him that they had to talk. Now Avril has been left free, and somehow she had found James’s address. This is the letter that Emily found, which made her think that James was having an affair. Yet, James ignored the letter completely. Now some things make sense. James has always refused to marry Emily and now she understands that he couldn’t marry her because he was already married. I really can’t understand why James, who seems so down-to-earth, could lie about Avril like that. He has lied to Emily from the outset, and he has also stopped his daughter from knowing the truth.
The police now suspect that Avril has Daisy, but she must believe that the baby is Chloe. I wonder how the woman found out where to find her husband and how she managed to get into the house and steal away with Daisy. Jess was tipsy that night after drinking a bottle of wine, and I imagine she fell asleep and didn’t hear a thing.
I hope that the police get Daisy back soon. Yet, whatever happens to Daisy, this family is already destroyed. The relationship between James and Emily was already strained, and with Emily cheating on him with Marcus, and James lying about something so fundamental are things that they will not be able to get over. Now Emily only has Jess to lean on. She is already suspicious of Chloe, thinking that maybe her stepdaughter tried to find out about her mother and she might have contacted her in the first place, and that is why Avril knew where James was in the first place. Like Jess, I doubt this is very likely. If Chloe had known that her father had lied to her all along, she wouldn’t have kept quiet. Yet, Emily needs someone to blame.
Jess is now the only support Emily has, but with Emily the way she is, she might lose her sister once again. We learn more about the past. Emily found Jess with her boyfriend Simon, but it seems that the boy raped her as she was having one of her episodes. Then when she fell pregnant, Emily arranged everything for her sister to have an abortion. Emily wasn’t talking to her sister, but a couple of weeks after the abortion, Emily came to talk to her sister, telling her that their parents knew about the termination. According to Emily, someone from the clinic had called and spilled the beans. Emily then told Jess that their parents couldn’t forgive her and they wanted her to go, and that is why she had to leave home when she was just seventeen. I have the hunch that it was all Emily’s doing, and either their parents didn’t know about Jess’s abortion and she made it up or she told them herself. I also have the hunch that their parents wouldn’t have wanted Jess to go, but for some reason Emily wanted her sister gone. These are just my guesses, but I think they make sense. So if Jess were to learn the truth about what happened back then, she would realise how far her sister’s selfishness could go, and maybe Emily could find herself totally alone.